Cubs Leaving Door Open for Yu Darvish to Return Before All-Star Break After Second Successful Bullpen

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Cubs Leaving Door Open for Yu Darvish to Return Before All-Star Break After Second Successful Bullpen

Chicago Cubs

Yu Darvish (triceps inflammation) threw his second bullpen session yesterday, 35 pitches without issue. Good, good.

The plan is for Darvish to throw another session this coming week when the Cubs come back to Wrigley Field (ESPN), and then I am guessing they will make a determination on whether he’s ready for a minor league rehab assignment.

Although we’re all still accepting the likely reality that he won’t return until after the July All-Star break, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer left open the possibility that Darvish could be back before then.

“I think there’s a path to that,” Hoyer told Cubs.com of Darvish returning to the Cubs before the All-Star break. “I think the path would have to be really smooth and everything would have to go right, but I do think there’s a path to get back before the break.”

So, let’s do a little math check on the timeline possibilities.

If Darvish throws a third bullpen session on, say, Monday, the earliest you’d realistically see him making a rehab start would probably be Thursday or Friday. That would have him making a second rehab start around June 27, and a third around July 2. Obviously, at that point, there are still nearly two weeks before the All-Star Break, which makes me think the Cubs are not planning – even aggressively – on a timeline that looks like this.

Still, I have a hard time seeing Darvish make more than three rehab starts in the minor leagues, so perhaps they’ll be more spread out, and/or maybe he won’t go out on that assignment until after two or more additional bullpen sessions.

The fact that he’s throwing healthy bullpen sessions about a month before the break is a good sign, though.

One upside to getting him back before the break? The Cubs could structure his second start timing such that he’ll get extra rest after the first start back just to make sure he’s feeling completely healthy after that outing before going again.

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.